Social networking has changed the way students want to learn. For many of my students, they expect to make the same connections with their learning as they do with their social lives. After researching social networking, I have discovered that this is easily accomplished. I found many social networking technologies to utilize in the classroom. I will share the two I found most interesting.
This site allows students to share bibliographies, bookmarks, links and notes in the same style as Facebook. Students have a wall where they are able to share their findings. Like Facebook, students are able to follow the posts of classmates by “following” each other. Students in my developmental reading course are required to read specific novels I assign. In addition, I will give them research to complete relating to the novel. This site would give the students an opportunity to share their research. I could look over their page to check for completion of the research assignment. Ultimately, the students would be required to write a paper summarizing their findings. I also monitor these students as they complete a sociology course. This course requires a large amount of research and writing. I find my students do not have a firm grasp on scholarly research. I could require students to post their research to their Delicious page. I could monitor those pages to insure they are completing their research in a scholarly manner.
Teachem.com allows teachers to pull YouTube videos together in one platform to produce a class. Additionally, the teacher is able to add notes to the videos and put together flashcards. This platform allows teachers to assign the students videos to watch out side of class time. Additionally, the teacher can put the videos in one place so bookmarking and searching for specific videos does not take up valuable class time. When I was teaching an Introduction to Education course, I often used YouTube videos to show my students teachers, classrooms and learners from all over the world. We would watch them in class and discuss them during the next class. With this program, I would be able to assign the videos as homework and put together notes with my commentary to have available with the videos. The class would be able to cut this assignment down to one day. I would also love to utilize this site with my students from China. It would be very easy to assemble videos relating to the culture of the United States. The students could experience the culture without being intimidated by taking independent trips.